The Issues

Sign Sign everywhere signs !

Why should we have to put up lawn signs just to get the attention of our City Council ?

You should not be forced to react negatively and put a lawn sign up to get the attention of City Council.  As a founding member of Save our Waterfront and Board of Director of Burlington Green, I have delegated to City Council over the years. In fact, I continue to delegate to them regularly on variety of issues.

Over the years we’ve seen the same concerns and issues over and over again. There is more to Ward 2 than intensification.

If chosen as your elected Councilor, I will maintain an open avenue of communication for “everyone”. I know first hand how intimidating it can be to delegate to council. And there’s nothing worse than walking away disillusioned with the outcome.

As your member of Council I want to you to feel informed and empowered by your City Council.

 

Here are the some of the issues that people in the neighbourhood are talking about.

 

Common signs and inquiries(not in any order of importance):

Speed bumps to home break ins:

  • Speed bumps slow people down for a short moment. The problem of speeding only shifts to the next street for example Prospect to Redfern. We have spent thousands on changing speed limit signs. Neither are solutions. If policing is brought back into the neighbourhood we can change behavior in speeding. In addition, police in the community reduces crime. We have home breakins and car theft/breakins if there is a regular presence we can simultaneously reduced 2 issues.
  • Speed bumps impact bike riders, in order to avoid a bump cars move to the right, into the bike lane. This is a safety issue

Taxes continue to increase

  • The average person has not seen an increase in their take home pay. I will not vote on a tax increase. We have been fortunate to have invested in the BPAC and the controversial pier and now the Joseph Brant Museum but we are now at a time to maintain the amenities we have.  Burlington is reaching maximum buildout to the northern Greenbelt combined with the lack of support of building up, we will be reaching a point of a fixed income.  We will need to learn how to do more with the tax base we have. Inflation will continue to rise and our tax base is not. I will help make the City a more efficient and create ways of doing more with less.

 

Getting the information you need

  • The City website is a disaster to find anything you need
  • Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, you should not need to follow or sign up to every Councilor’s personal pages and social media outlets.
  • I propose prior to every Vote on an issue, each Councilor would enter their comments on any upcoming votes. Therefore you can get everyone’s viewpoint not just one Council member because it is important to them

 

Pedestrian safety- Our sidewalks are not designed for the increase in traffic. A complete traffic study needs to be completed not a building by building approach to development. I don’t even have a sidewalk on my own street, 1 was removed during street improvements. Not safe for children walking downtown. The downtown core needs to be pedestrian friendly not just a commuter bypass.

Traffic Concerns – too slow, too much, congested

  • Greater pressure on the Provincial Governament to get the QEW moving
  • Better light sequence on our major corridors and pull the traffic out of our neighbourhood
  • Before we increase our intensification we need greater Traffic Studies to be completed. In the downtown our sidewalks are adjacent to the roadways we need to address pedestrian safety first. Our kids are walking and learning to ride their bikes. Sidewalks all slope to the road with each driveway increased traffic increases the odds of tragedy
  • Get Fairview and Maple moving to reduce people cutting through our neighbourhood
  • There  continues to be an increasing number of seniors are on scooters and pedestrians.
  • Some areas have had their sidewalks reduced to a single side
  • Investigate scramble intersections throughout the downtown.
  • Review the criteria for speed bumps. Streets that have requested them and have not received them others have too many.
  • Connectivity of bike lanes throughout the City

 

Dog Park

  • A common request is where can we have a dog leash free park.  Central Park is often used and many complain too.  We need a safe area for dog owners to connect and have a coffee while Kooper has a run.

RATS ! – is there a correlation between the increased buildings. We need a City plan to assist the community with the increased numbers.  I don’t encourage poison as there are many other species that suffer when using it.

Loss of Heritage buildings and character buildings

  • Empty buildings and lots awaiting development – developers should encourage businesses to remain in the spaces longer up until development takes place.
  • Cookie Cutter homes and infilling
  • Large homes on small lots
    • The rebuilds need to meet the character of their neighbours
    • At the same time Contractors experience frustration with the Planning Department

 

Too Tall too much intensification – too dense

  • The approach of the current council was not necessary to meet the intensification requirements of the Places to Grow Act. I believe in sticking to the original Official Plan, if a lot is designated 4-8 storey’s it does not mean 18 with Section 37 amenities and benefits for the City.
  • The overdevelopment of the downtown core is a terrible legacy the current Council is passing on to future generations.
  • I have delegated for over 10 years on this very issue. Once as part of Save our Waterfront and also as an individual speaking on behalf of my neighbours

Tree Canopy and Inventory

  • Let’s move beyond the Roseland study. This has been studied in Toronto and Oakville and implemented. Let’s implement before another lot is clear cut for a monster home

 

Increase dependency on the Foodbank and presence of Street Peddlers

  • We need to work with local community partners and social groups to make life in Burlington positive for everyone.
  • Our Official Plan does not even mention a shelter. We are planning for a million people in the region. We need to account for all services. We have a unspoken homeless issue in town. We have always had homeless and some seek shelter along our beach strip.
  • We have not been an active member of the Halton Poverty Roundtable . This needs to be corrected.
  • Each of my fellow candidates has mentioned Habitat for Humanity. We cannot rely on them to account for those needing to make ends meet. I have met seniors in our community living on $15 000.00 annually !
  • On the beachstrip there is an area for those needing shelter. Our Official Plan does not even make mention of a homeless shelter. Very short sighted and not helping all. For those of us who can remember, we have homeless and 1 passed away behind the firehall on Fairview. It should not happen again. Mike deserved a better fate.

Pubic Transit routes and proper coverage

  • Right sizing the transit system. I support investment in Public Transit and studies have shown an increase transit investment will increase ridership. I have used public transit and a 25 minute ride turns into a 65 minute ride after 6 pm.
  • Get creative with transit including partnering with UBER to service all areas of the city and reduce buses with low ridership areas
  • Connectivity issues – review how long people need to wait for transfers.
  • Several people travel from downtown to the GO station but continue to take their car. There should be a fast efficient commuters bus.

October 17th Cannabis Sales

  • Does the City of Burlington opt out of private marijuana sales ? I have heard both support and against. Help shape my decision.

 

Spencer Smith Park is becoming overcrowded

  • Spencer Smith Park is one of kind location for all to enjoy. There should be limits on the number of events that take place in the park annually. We need more greenspace/parkland and need to find the balance of over use of Spencer Smith and using other areas such as Central

 

Downtown Parking should be reviewed

  • Should December be the only month of free parking. Free parking during the week perhaps or spread out. Business’s should not be penalized for creating a street side patio. Those business’s pay for a full spot for the entire summer. That is not fair.

 

  • Downtown business’s that want a pop out seating or sales area pay full rates for the parking spots they use. Those spots are not always used 7 days a week. They should only pay proportional cost for those spots. They want to improve the downtown and are being taxed for it.
  • Getting people downtown. The downtown business’s need the support of the entire City. The unique shops and shopping experience should be enjoyed by all.  They cannot rely on just the downtown citizens to make them a viable business. Retail space is being reduced with the increased intensification.

 

  • Revisiting the Official Plan. What does the Official Plan mean to you today and tomorrow.
    • The Regional Council needs to delay the passing of the Official Plan

 

  • I want to get to know people from all areas of Ward 2 as each person has issues that are unique to their street and their families. I will work with you and keep you informed so your family continues to enjoy the benefits of Ward 2.

The City of Burlington is yours to shape and mold for the future.   I will encourage open dialogue and thoughtful reasoning in all decisions that impact Ward 2 and the City.